How Carbon Capture and Storage Works


Announcer

Welcome to Stuff You Should Know from howstuffworks.com.

Josh

Hey and welcome to the Podcast. I'm Josh Clark, with me as always, is the lovely Chuck Bryant, staring at our new Jute rug hanging from our new wall. What's up Chuck, we must be like going places, we have a Jute rug hanging from the wall.

Chuck

I feel silly because I called it Berber.

Josh

That's okay.

Chuck

I'm over here feeling stupid.

Josh

They're both from the same area.

Chuck

Oh are they?

Josh

Of the world.

Chuck

They better be because if you start [inaudible] be so angry.

Josh

I know. The cool thing is is when we're corrected though, we are literally corrected, I'm sorry we're corrected by literal experts.

Chuck

Yeah sure -

Josh

Have you noticed?

Chuck

Yeah true.

Josh

Yeah so -

Chuck

Many times.

Josh

So it would be like a Jute rug manufacturer or somebody with a Ph.D. in Jute Rug Studies who will email us about that.

Chuck

Or Henry Jute himself.

Josh

Right, the father of Jute ruggery. Yeah, so other than the whole Berber Jute thing, how are you feeling?

Chuck

Oh I'm good, a little tired but I'm fine.

Josh

Are you tired?

Chuck

Yeah.

Josh

Chuck you should look into energy drinks. I just drank one and I'm like, "Eeehhhh".

Chuck

Yeah, I'm not a fan. I don't like the taste.

Josh

No?

Chuck

No.

Josh

Good enough. Do you wanna move on?

Chuck

Sure.

Josh

Let's do that. What's funniest is that came out as like seven seconds and it really lasted wh

at, like four minutes?

Chuck

Yeah, if people only knew.

Josh

Thanks to the wonder of Yeti. Yeah so Chuck, you may have noticed and I know you did because that person we used to relay information to us, between the two of us, because we can't stand one another really -

Chuck

Right.

Josh

Told me that you told her that you already knew this, you following me so far?

Chuck

No. I don't think anyone else is either.

Josh

Okay, we already did this one.

Chuck

Yeah, we should go ahead and say that. This is about Carbon Capture and Storage and it seemed oddly familiar with I was researching and it's because we did in fact do this last July but it was one of our little baby podcasts when we first started.

Josh

Woof.

Chuck

And it was like five, seven minutes long, something like that and it really didn't do the topic justice so -

Josh

And I gotta tell you, hot dog, carbon capture and storage is cool enough and important enough to do twice.

Chuck

Yeah and don't worry folks. We're not gonna start rehashing things. We have plenty of topics we have yet to cover but we just wanna do this because we're on a little green sweet kick.

Josh

Exactly yeah and plus you know, the first one just didn't quite do it. Usually when we do a podcast, it stays done, right.

Chuck

Yeah, agreed.

Josh

This one didn't quite stay done, it was still squirming. We hadn't put the nail gun to the back of the head yet. So we're gonna do that here.

Chuck

Part deux.

Josh

Yeah, so Chuck this one is laden with stats. As I as reading this article, I thought Chuck is going to go crazy for this one. Give me the first step buddy. Let's talk about CO2 and the green house effect, right.

Chuck

Let's do.

Josh

Okay so we do have this layer of carbon dioxide that allows sunlight to pass through and some to stay. It keeps bouncing back and forth -

Chuck

Which we need to a certain degree.

Josh

We do need it or else tree wouldn't grow. Children wouldn't skip and play.

Chuck

Supportive for photo synthesis.

Josh

Right so we do need it. What would happen if we didn't have this greenhouse layer surrounding the earth like a warm blanket?

Chuck

Josh if we had no greenhouse effect buddy, our planet would be about minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit,

which is minus 30 degrees Celsius

Josh

For our friends who don't use the imperial system.

Chuck

Yep, so it would be a frozen planet basically.

Josh

Yeah, oh yeah. We would be around, I'll tell you that.

Chuck

So we want the greenhouse effect. We want this stuff to come through and to warm our earth. The problem is is when enough of it doesn't get bounced back into outer space.

Josh

Then it gets a little too warm, it goes the other direction. We don't have a stat on that but as you can tell, summers are getting a little hotter and I'm sweating a lot more.

Chuck

We do have stat on that, as far as it getting hotter.

Josh

Oh okay.

Chuck

Well emissions, I'm sorry emissions increasing. I kinda bent that one a little bit.

Josh

Yeah, scoot it.

Chuck

But from 1970 to 2004 the greenhouse gas emissions have increased 70 percent over that 34 year period.

Josh

Right and there's actually plenty of different greenhouse gases. You've got like Nitrous Oxide, Methane; even water vapor is technically a greenhouse gas when it gets up there.

Chuck

Yeah, didn't realize that.

Josh

So all this stuff kind of combining kind of traps in the sun's heat, but worst among them as far as what we're doing to contribute which is called anthropogenic contribution is carbon dioxide because between that same period, what did you say, 1970 to 2004, our carbon dioxide emissions grew 80 percent. That's significant.

Chuck

Yeah, close to doubling. That's a lot.

Josh

Right and you remember the chlorohydrofloral carbons I think is what they were called.

Chuck

Yes.

Josh

The CFCs, yeah chlorofluorocarbon's and they were in aerosol sprays and everybody's like, oh God everything's going to end. And we just got rid of aerosols. Kind of we need to figure out a way to do that with carbon dioxide emissions too.

Chuck

Well we kind of are.

Josh

Yeah and, what is it?

Chuck

Well that's what we're talking about again, which is carbon capture and more importantly, storage because capturing carbon; I mean none of its easy but what you do with it is what's important.

Josh

Sure yeah I mean we capture it. Put it in the backyard.

Chuck

Sure.

Josh

Right.

Chuck

I mean you can put it very deep in the backyard.

Josh

You could, nice.

Chuck

We'll get to that -

Josh

Nice foreshadowing. So let's talk about trapping carbon dioxide first. The capture part of carbon capture and storage which if you wanna look green savvy in front of your friend's, just toss out CCS and they will be wowed!

Chuck

Yeah, we've actually been doing this for a while, Josh.

Josh

What you and I, a year at least.

Chuck

No, capturing carbon.

Josh

Oh yeah.

Chuck

We've been doing that for a while because the oil and gas industry's do that. They've been doing that for decades to enhance oil and gas recovery.

Josh

Right because when you tap an oil reserve an oil deposit in the earth, it's actually there's a ton of gas that's holding it down. It's pressurized actually, so the stuff it comes out really easily. But as the gases that are holding this, they're pressurizing this under grown cavern escape into the atmosphere, it becomes harder and harder to get the oil out so they figured out that if you pump CO2 into these half depleted deposits. It repressurizes it and it makes the oil easier to get out.

Chuck

Right so out of that becomes a more environmentally friendly use which is capturing carbon for mother earth.

Josh

Right and even more so since the oil companies are already using seat pressurized CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, there's already a network, a system of pipelines and stuff in -

Chuck

Our infrastructure.

Josh

Infrastructure, thank you Chuck.

Chuck

Wow, I love that word infrastructure for some reason.

Josh

I do too, it's very comforting -

Chuck

It is.

Josh

It sounds like somebody's in charge.

Chuck

It does!

Josh

So I'm getting ahead of myself. That's part of the storage right? Let's keep talking about capture.

Chuck

Josh there are three main steps to CCS and that is the trapping of the carbon, the separating of the CO2 from other gases, and then transporting it to a place where you can store it away from the atmosphere.

Josh

Right and actually, strangely enough there's three methods that we've come with for doing this.

Chuck

Rule of three's.

Josh

All right, so you've got, hey you love that don't you?

Chuck

I do.

Josh

You've got post combustion, pre-combustion, and oxy-fuel combustion, right.

Chuck

Break it down brother.

Josh

Okay well I'll break down post combustion.

Chuck

Okay.

Josh

It's exactly what it sounds like. Say you've got a coal fired powered plant. Coal is super dirty, even clean coal is very dirty. If you can figure out a way to trap that CO2 that's escaping from the flu then all of a sudden you've just capture carbon. And one way to do that is to introduce some sort of like gel or compound. I know Georgia Tech's working on one called the hyperbranched aminosilica.

Chuck

Wow, look at you.

Josh

Thanks.

Chuck

You weren't even reading that.

Josh

No I wasn't.

Chuck

Very impressive.

Josh

Oh, it's not even in this article, pal.

Chuck

I know my brain is mush, there's no way I could do that.

Josh

And actually I guess it's because it's so hyperbranched, it traps carbon dioxide molecules and it actually locks into them so it's a silica, it's kinda sandy.

Chuck

So it works as a filter?

Josh

It does but you know so some flue gases get out, but the carbon dioxide doesn't.

Chuck

Gotcha.

Josh

And the cool thing is like it just sits there. It just traps it till it's heated again and if you heat it in under the right circumstances; you can capture just the CO2 and compress it and get rid of it. That's one example of post combustion. The key to post combustion is you're already burning the fossil fuels and you're capturing as much CO2 as you can before it escapes into the atmosphere out a smoke stack.

Chuck

Right. One thing I noticed in that where you said once you heat it again, it leaves behind the concentrated CO2 but it releases water vapor. I wonder if that water vapor is part of the problem as well though.

Josh

It seems like it. Water vapor is again it's a green house gas but it's also a flue gas which is a mixture of a whole bunch of stuff that comes out of burning fossil fuels. But again we're after the CO2 but it seems like getting the CO2 separated from the water vapor is a problem as well.

Chuck

Gotcha.

Josh

Yeah. So you wanna do pre-combustion?

Chuck

Yeah, sure why not. This is when carbon dioxide I guess I should say is trapped before the fossil fuel is burned so before it's diluted with other flue gasses is when you capture it so pre-combustion before it's burned.

Josh

Right and apparently Chuck what you do is you actually heat whatever fossil fuel you're using in the presence of pure oxygen and you get this completely different thing, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, right? And then you run it through a catalytic converter and it produces more hydrogen which is good because you can actually reuse that for energy to maybe even power this whole process right? And then you get carbon dioxide as well right, and then you put them in a flask with a chemical called Aiming and the Aiming actually holds the CO2 down.

Chuck

Right it sits on top of it.

Josh

Right and then eventually you can extract the Aiming and the Hydrogen, reuse the Aiming and trap the CO2.

Chuck

Right.

Josh

Sounds like kind of a lot.

Chuck

It does. I wonder if we're gonna get any cool sound effects like our distillery.

Josh

That would be very cool. That would be super cool.

Chuck

We'll see.

Josh

And if we did, yeah didn't you just hear it?

Chuck

Yeah, Jeri's ignoring us right now so that might not happen.

Josh

So it is a lot. Pre-combustion, it's a big process.

Chuck

Yeah it's already in use actually for natural gas. They've already been using this.

Josh

It is. The thing is it's in use in a brand new power plant. The good thing about post combustion is you can run around the country and retrofit old power plants to capture carbon dioxide. Pre-combustion you pretty much have to build that it as you're building in new power plant and it's also super expensive.

Chuck

Well it's actually -

Josh

And it uses a lot of energy.

Chuck

What pre-combustion?

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

Oh yeah. No I thought it was lowering cost.

Josh

Is it?

Chuck

Well the process is lowering cost but I think it's more expensive because it's not a retrofit.

Josh

Right but it also, it's higher in the cost of energy that it uses to go through this process from what I understand.

Chuck

Oh, I was talking about dollars, buddy.

Josh

Hey dude, you still gotta pay for energy somehow.

Chuck

Pay now or pay later, Josh.

Josh

Right, right and then the last one is oxy-fuel, right?

Chuck

Oxy-fuel combustion, yeah that's the power plant burns fossil fuel and oxygen and this results in a gas mixture comprised of steam and carbon dioxide so the steam and CO2 were separated when you cool it and compress the gas stream.

Josh

Right.

Chuck

So there you have it.

Josh

There you have it! And all three of these captured between 80 and 90 percent of the carbon dioxide that's escaping.

Chuck

I think oxy-fuel's the most.

Josh

Oxy-fuels it like 90 percent of the time.

Chuck

Yeah, topping out at 90.

Josh

So those are pretty much the three competing ways to capture carbon dioxide in use right now and it seems like we're talking about power plants a lot. Those are definitely the focus of carbon capture right now. They're huge emitters of carbon dioxide like there's a, I think a southern company plant in Juliette, Georgia and it emits more carbon dioxide than the entire power infrastructure of Brazil.

Chuck

Really.

Josh

Which seems a little lopsided because you just blogged about Brazil recently on a sugar cane bio fuel post, right?

Chuck

Today.

Josh

And they're very, very energy independent thanks to the cellulosic ethanol that they make from sugar cane. So it's -

Chuck

They've been doing that for a while -

Josh

So it's kind of a lopsided comparison but still, one power plant shouldn't be putting out more CO2 than any country.

Chuck

Sure you would think.

Josh

Right. But that's -

Chuck

Unless that country's tiny.

Josh

Like maybe Vatican City.

Chuck

Yeah, is that a country?

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

Dude I've walked around Vatican City one time by accident.

Josh

How so?

Chuck

Well it was my friend Bret and I were kinda -

Josh

What do you mean by accident?

Chuck

Well we were on the wrong side of where we needed to be and we thought well we'll just skirt around this wall here and I think it'll be quicker. And I didn't realize we were walking around a country.

Josh

Did you come face-to-face with the Pope and were just like, what are you doing here? And he's like, what are you doing here?

Chuck

No but it took forever. It was a much longer walk than I anticipated and now that I realized it's a country, that kind of all makes sense.

Josh

Does it make sense?

Chuck

It does.

Josh

Gotcha.

Chuck

Cool place though.

Josh

I've heard.

Chuck

Moving on.

Josh

Yes.

Chuck

So now Josh, what we have is captured carbon.

Josh

We got a whole lot of carbon dioxide. What do we do with it Chuck?

Chuck

Well you need to transport it first before you can store it.

Josh

How?

Chuck

Through a pipeline.

Josh

Oh yeah, I already talked about that.

Chuck

Right, that's a good thing is the infrastructures in place and I think here's another stat, there's more than 1500 miles of CO2 pipelines already in place here, in the U.S.

Josh

It sounds like a lot but technically it's not. Like consider the amount of oil pipelines and that kind of thing.

Chuck

That's true.

Josh

And that actually, I was talking about a lopsided figure with this other company plant in Brazil. You know CO2 pipeline safety as far as fatalities and accidents go, is really low compared to like natural gas and hazardous materials pipeline, I think to the tune of -

Chuck

I've got stats.

Josh

Okay go ahead.

Chuck

No you do it.

Josh

No I want you to.

Chuck

Oh these are death stats.

Josh

No you.

Chuck

Okay. That's we're talking -

Josh

These are death stats!

Chuck

We're talking between 1986 and 2006 or it's only been 12 CO2 pipeline leaks with no injuries.

Josh

None.

Chuck

Yeah none, zip and over the same period more than 5,000 accidents within a 107 fatalities with liquid petroleum pipelines.

Josh

So whoop-whoop it sounds like CO2 pipelines are way safer but again -

Chuck

There's a lot fewer -

Josh

There's a lot fewer, yeah. And your friend Debbie Ronka thinks that these accidents will probably increase as the CO2 pipeline infrastructure increases in breadth.

Chuck

And we should say Debbie wrote this, we didn't just chat about this and Debbie threw out her opinion.

Josh

Right.

Chuck

Debbie wrote this awesome article.

Josh

Her formal training in Pediatrics.

Chuck

Right, Debbie of freakgirl.com.

Josh

Oh is that her huh, nice.

Chuck

Good girl.

Josh

You are just plug happy, aren'tcha?

Chuck

Yeah you know.

Josh

I think just for old time sake you should plug our audio book. I mean, you know spoken word album.

Chuck

We'll do that later.

Josh

I'm never gonna get that right there in the front of my head. They'll never be the first thing I call that.

Chuck

So, now we have it in a pipeline and we are transporting it where it needs to go which it depends on where you pick it up and where it needs to be for where it needs to travel, I mean it's pretty simple.

Josh

Right but also we should probably say that there's different you could transport CO2 three different ways, right.

Chuck

Gas, liquid and solid.

Josh

Right and the most efficient is gas, right.

Chuck

Yeah.

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

Of course, solid CO2 actually is dry ice, did you know that.

Josh

Yeah I didn't, sadly.

Chuck

And it's not very cost effective to transport as a solid obviously. And gas is easier because you can compress it with these compressors kind of push it through the pipeline, every so often they have these compressors.

Josh

Sure and where you shooting it to though! Are you shooting it to the storage area Chuck?

Chuck

Yeah, it depends what kind of storage you're gonna use.

Josh

Well what kind do you wanna use? I mean there's only two underground and underwater, right?

Chuck

What kind do I wanna use?

s="clr">

Josh

What kind do you want to use? If you're Chuck, kind of the world then somebody says, let's do something about CCS, you say I decree that we're going to store it -

Chuck

Underground.

Josh

Underground, all right. Nice.

Chuck

That's what I say. The ocean thing worries me a little bit. They both worry me a little bit actually but yeah, let's start with underground.

Josh

Okay, let's do underground.

Chuck

Well Josh, there's some estimates if you want another stat. You're right; this is Chuck full of stats. The planet can store up to 10 trillion tons of CO2 underground.

Josh

Which is 100 years of storage all human anthropogenic carbon contributions.

Chuck

Right which sounds good but that's really not that very long, 100 years.

Josh

No but consider this. I was actually when I wrote the article, Can We Spare Your CO2 Problem Under the Ocean, I think is what it was called, within 100 years, there's no telling what kind of technology we're going to have. We could conceivably take that trapped carbon dioxide and exert tons of forest and make synthetic petroleum out of it.

Chuck

Yeah, that a good point.

Josh

A hundred years is a really long time with the kind of technological advances we've been undertaking in the last 100 years, right?

Chuck

Yeah think about 19 aught nine and what it was like then.

Josh

Yeah I don't like -

Chuck

Compared to now.

Josh

Lot's of syphilis.

Chuck

Yeah, I imagine so.

Josh

Sure.

Chuck

So yeah that's underground. You know it's pressurized when it's that deep underground and it behaves more like a liquid than a gas when it's for underground because it like seeps into all the little cracks and porous rocks which is a good thing.

Josh

Right and actually there's a specific rock that they found works really well for carbon storage and that is basalt, which is volcanic rock, right. And they just inject, what is it, do they inject gaseous, gasified CO2?

Chuck

Gasified?

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

I think so, yeah.

Josh

They inject it directly into the rock and actually the rock transforms from basalt into limestone.

Chuck

Yeah, pretty cool, coverts it into rock.

Josh

So basically it's like a -

Chuck

Like regular rock.

Josh

A hyper accelerated geological process that's going on. But when I read that I thought, wow that's great, what a great idea. We just need to run around injecting all the basalt in the world with CO2 and we'll be set and we'll just have a big limestone planet. And then again I though, we really don't know what we're tinkering with here. Like what happens if we have like too much limestone on the planet. We can't say, we don't know. Like I can't tell almost, I hate to admit this but I can't tell if this kind of tinkering might actually result in much more catastrophic consequences than just going the way we're going and trying to go with bio-fuels.

Chuck

You never know.

Josh

I don't.

Chuck

You know a lot of the end of the world movies where it shows like the future how mankind was wiped out, the little thing they'll use to turn the story was we were trying to do something great and discovered something we thought was great but it turned out to be some irrevocable change that led to our demise.

Josh

You're talking about soil and grain, of course.

Chuck

Well yeah and just a lot of movies like that. But that's a great point actually, soil and grains a great example.

Josh

Yeah, so soil and grain -

Chuck

We think we're doing something really good and that might lead to our undoing.

Josh

Water World, greatest movie ever made; a definitely maybe.

Chuck

Really?

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

What does that have to do with this?

Josh

It's highly post apocalyptic.

Chuck

Okay.

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

I'll have to see that one. I thought it was a cheesy -

Josh

Oh you haven't seen it?

Chuck

I thought it was a cheesy romance.

Josh

No it starts out like that and the twist at the end is mind boggling.

Chuck

Right, it's like the Road Warrior.

Josh

So go ahead Chuck, we're talking underground or are we done with that part?

Chuck

No well we're almost done. What happens is they're studying all that right now. So your fears hopefully can be dismissed because they're looking to see what the result will be.

Josh

Sure and as far as it goes, I think the oldest underground CO2 storage site is actually under the sea floor in Norway. And it's only as old as 1996.

Chuck

Right and -

Josh

And hasn't had an accident or anything but its still only 13 years old.

Chuck

Yeah it's a baby.

Josh

Yeah so what happens in 50 years or 100 years?

Chuck

Exactly and that' what they're keeping their eye on; I mean they're worried about it too.

Josh

I mean we definitely have to do something but I don't know. I'm just a little hesitant.

Chuck

Right, I agree.

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

Well you wanna talk about the ocean?

Josh

Yeah let's talk about the ocean. I'm with you. I'm much more trepid about the ocean storage and that there's again, I wrote an article called, Can We Bury our CO2 Problem in the Ocean, and in that article there's this guy who came up with the idea of having these pipelines pump liquefied, not gasified but liquefied CO2 directly into enormous bags in the ocean.

Chuck

That's right at the Abysmal Plain?

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

Not Abysmal Plain, the -

Josh

Abyssal.

Chuck

Abyssal Plain.

Josh

Yeah but I imagine it's pretty abysmal down there, yeah. So yeah, down in the abyssal plain right and it's a pretty good idea. The problem is is these huge, enormous bags can only store I think a day or 10 worth of carbon dioxide captured.

Chuck

That could be a lot of bags.

Josh

It'll be a lot of bags and they add up really quick and if any one of them ruptured, we don't know what would happen. But apparently from a little more investigation, if we bury this stuff or dump it in the ocean deep enough which is to the tune of about 11,500 feet -

Chuck

3500 meters.

Josh

Nice, then we could just let it go and hope for the best. The incredibly low pressure and temperatures will basically globify it -

Chuck

Yeah, compress it -

Josh

It'll just be floating around.

Chuck

Globify, I like that.

Josh

It sounds like a terrible, terrible idea to me.

Chuck

Yeah.

Josh

With any kind of clout I may have as a human being

and a podcaster, I would like to here now say that, I think just dumping our captured carbon dioxide into the ocean is one of the worst ideas I've heard this year.

Chuck

Yeah I know Green Peace isn't wild about the idea.

Josh

No.

Chuck

And they said it's not even feasible until at least the year 2030, so I mean I have two camps. It's good we're exploring things like this.

Josh

Sure, agreed.

Chuck

But you know, it'll be much better if we had electric cars powered by solar energy rather than just thinking of different ways to keep using fossil fuels over and over and over.

Josh

Right, no and that's a good point. I noticed Green Peace is not to hip on this either and I agree with them as well. I think that we basically have to; stuff like this really distracts us from making hard decisions and hard choices. See this is easy, like our lives don't change at all; it's just the power companies need to go retrofit their old flues with scrubbers of some sort. But for us to have electric cars or have bio-fuels, we're gonna have to pay more a gallon, that kind of thing. So it does affect us so people aren't paying that much attention to it.

Chuck

Right.

Josh

That's not to say this is pie in the sky technology though. You know it's very viable and it's going on now still.

Chuck

Right.

Josh

Right.

Chuck

Hopefully works is gonna be done on a lot of fronts and it will be multiple solutions.

Josh

You know my favorite idea was?

Chuck

What?

Josh

Did you read that little sidebar about the companies SkyMine?

Chuck

I did not.

Josh

Okay so SkyMine has figured out a way where they just take sequestered carbon dioxide and they inject it with salt and water, sodium hydroxide, right. And it creates a chemical reaction that forms baking soda.

Chuck

Oh really?

Josh

That's it.

Chuck

Baking soda is good for everything.

Josh

It is.

Chuck

Well not everything -

Josh

I just think that's the greatest idea ever. The problem is we'd have massive baking soda stored and the baking soda market in which I'm heavily invested would just bottom out. So I mean I like it as an idea but financially it would suck for me.

Chuck

Right no fridge would ever stink again though.

Josh

No we could probably make fridges out of baking soda with that much lying around.

Chuck

You know if they can make a suitcase out of cocaine, they can probably make a refrigerator out of baking soda.

Josh

The operative word is they.

Chuck

They. But getting back to the water real quick, you were talking about leaking CO2 from the ocean. Remember our little exploding lake podcast?

Josh

Yeah. That's a great example of what we have here.

Chuck

CO2, baby. Coming up through the water so that could happen.

Josh

Lake Nyos.

Chuck

And we should also probably mention carbon sink which is a phenomenon. The ocean actually does absorb CO2 from the atmosphere already and what happens now is it's sinking to the bottom ideally, but some oceans like the southern ocean have soaked up so much that it's not soaking it down to the bottom anymore. It's not sinking; it's kind of staying on top. And that makes the water very acidic which is not good for fishy's.

Josh

No which is again Lake Nyos, we have no idea what happened in the marine life, probably because they were exploded into trillions of pieces. That's tough to count.

Chuck

So yeah, a little troublesome, I mean capturing carbon, this is a good thing. Storing it, a little more dodgy.

Josh

Yeah, I mean we'll see what happens. We're gonna screw up this planet one way or another, might as well make it quick and like a huge massive eruption of CO2 into the atmosphere that chokes us all to death.

Chuck

That sounds encouraging.

Josh

Sure well it'll get filtered out eventually in some strange new life where it will eventually take over and screw it up later on so.

Chuck

Boy you're a bright one today.

Josh

I am.

Chuck

Just a shining light.

Josh

So Chuck I'm glad we did this again buddy.

Chuck

Me too.

Josh

This one's done until next time.

Chuck

Yes.

Josh

Until that carbon dioxide explodes. Let's agree right now, we don't do carbon capture and storage again until that massive eruption takes place.

Chuck

All right.

Josh

Okay?

Chuck

Deal. Part three -

Josh

There you have it.

Chuck

Coming not too soon.

Josh

So you know what time it's for then? It's time for Chuck to plug our spoken word album. Chuck go ahead.

Chuck

Wow it's been so long, it was economics if I remember correctly. The Stuff You Should Know Super Stuff Guide to the Economy.

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

You can buy it in your iTunes store for, what was the final price, $4.00?

Josh

Something like that, yeah.

Chuck

$3.99?

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

$3.95, something like that.

Josh

Nice and again we got really good feedback on it, didn't we?

Chuck

We did and it was a good experience.

Josh

So yeah, there's Chuck plugging our audio book, The Stuff You Should Know Super Stuff Guide to the Economy. I can't believe I remember the name of that stuff.

Chuck

Just for old time sake.

Josh

And that means that it is Listener Mail Time. [CHIME] All right Chuck what do you have for us baby?

Chuck

Compass head, catcher's mitt, I have something I'm just gonna call Shocking Listener Mail.

Josh

Okay, we have a lot of that lately.

Chuck

Yeah we had a fan that wrote in that was struck by lightning.

Josh

Yeah not just the fan, but her dog too?

Chuck

Yeah and she just kind of off handedly mentioned it because she was talking about she read that spontaneous human combustion could be caused by lightning and I was struck by lightning by the way and that was kind of it. I wrote her back and was like, no, no; no you need to give me some details here because I would like to read this on the air and I've never talked to anyone who was struck by lightning. So here we go, it turns out it was a side strike which I never heard of and she says a side strike is really a wild phenomenon of lightning. It struck about a half a block from me, it was incredibly bright and I was blinded for a few minutes after ward. I was knocked back about six feet but still landed on my feet and I couldn't hear for a good half hour afterward. It was a booming and crackling, yet incredibly quiet, which I thought was interesting. I can't totally explain the sound except to compare it to the sound you get when you skydive which doesn't help me any because I've never been skydiving.

Josh

It's kind of like a, [makes sound of wind].

Chuck

Have you done it?

Josh

Um-hum.

Chuck

Really? No way.

Josh

It's terrifying.

Chuck

Okay, I believe it. The rush of wind booms around you but is definitely still. Would you agree with that?

Josh

Yeah.

Chuck

Similar, sort of? Oh you were all hammered when you did it, what are you talking about, you don't remember. In my research about lightning strike victims I found it incredible that a side strike can occur up to a mile away from something and you can still receive the electrical charge. I saw the lightning strike but I didn't feel any pain so I assumed I wasn't hit. It wasn't until later in the day when burn marks showed up. I don't think I lost consciousness but I was totally routed on the spot where I was standing.

Josh

Rooted?

Chuck

R-o-u-t-e-d, I'm not sure. If it wasn't for my dog, I probably would have continued to stand there for a while. Yeah I guess she was rooted, that makes sense. My dog was so frightened that she just took off running. I was holding on to the leash and couldn't let go. So I sort of ran blindly after her to our house. I was an emotional blur for a decent while afterwards. Consequently my dogs black fur is now a very specked with white hair and let me see -

Josh

That actually coincides with another of our podcasts.

Chuck

Oh yeah sure.

Josh

About being scared to death.

Chuck

And she had singes across her fingers and toes, little burn blisters and as far as long term damage, let me see it's affected her balance some and messes with her inner ear but her frontal lobe is fine and she's taken neurological exams and psychological testing. She is fine and normal and considers herself very lucky.

Josh

I consider her very lucky too, and her dog.

Chuck

That is Hannah of Tennessee and we're very glad that you and your little girl poochy are all okay.

Josh

Hannah, I would strongly recommend that you play the Lotto as often as you can.

Chuck

Right.

Josh

So yeah, if you wanna tell us any amazing true stories about lightning, shark attacks, bar fights, whatever. You can send us a email, that's what they call them these days, right Chuck?

Chuck

Electronic mail.

Josh

You can send that to stuffpodcast@howstuffworks.com.

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